Since 1938, when Jakobson advanced the proposition that speech sounds are composite entities constituted by complexes of binary features, there has been a flurry of proposals about the nature of distinctive features. Those proposals try to explain how features are grouped and related to one another; they deal with the internal structure of the segment. Jakobson, Fant & Halle (1952) built up the first articulated theory of phonological features relaying basically on the acoustic properties of sounds. Chomsky & Halle (1968) changed this acoustic orientation towards an articulatory definition of sounds. This conception of the features has been assumed by most of the recent proposals. In this article we present a review of some of the most important innovations in recent years. Some of the models we consider deal with the hierarchy of features; others discuss the binary or unary nature of features; differences between vowel and consonantal features; the representation of vocalic height etc. In our review we start presenting arguments that justify the need for an internal hierarchy in the segment. Then we introduce some of the most important proposals in the framework of Feature Geometry: Clements (1985, 1987, 1989, 1991), Sagey (1986, 1987), Halle (1986), McCarthy (1988, 1989), Steriade (1987), Archangeli & Pulleyblank (1986). The next section is devoted to the consideration of a group of proposals that have in common the conception of the feature as an unary entity. We talk about Dependency Phonology (Anderson & Ewen 1987), Particle Phonology (Schane 1984), Charm Theory (Kaye, Lowenstamm & Vergnaud 1985) and the Geometry of Vocalic Features (van der Hulst 1988). In a third major section we consider other theories based on a phonetic perspective such as Articulatory Phonology (Browman & Goldstein 1989) and proposals that introduce multivalued features. Finally, we close the review with a comparative analysis of the different proposals.
Morales, Alfonso. 1992. «Teorías fonológicas De Los Rasgos Distintivos». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 26 (2):613-43. https://doi.org/10.1387/asju.8309.
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